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Yosemite Officials Proposing Improvements To Bridalveil Fall Area

Bridalveil Fall, Yosemite National Park/NPS

Yosemite National Park officials are proposing improvements to visitor facilities at Bridalveil Fall/NPS

An accessible loop trail, flush toilets, and better parking are among the changes Yosemite National Park officials want to implement at the Bridalveil Fall area.  

The improvements, outlined within the park's Bridalveil Fall Rehabilitation Environmental Assessment, are open for public comments through March 14. As described by the Park Service, the plan would:

* Replace vault toilets with flush toilets at the Bridalveil Fall Parking Area.

* Construct an accessible loop trail from the Bridalveil Fall Parking Area to a viewing platform.

* Enhance the Bridalveil Fall Parking Area within its existing footprint to improve safety and reduce traffic congestion.

* Expand the existing viewing platform for Bridalveil Fall.

* Improve safety and traffic congestion along Bridalveil Straight along Southside Drive.

Yosemite is hosting a public meeting in Mariposa, California, on February 28 to provide an opportunity for members of the public to learn more about the Bridalveil Fall EA, interact with park staff, and ask questions about the project. This meeting will take place from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Mariposa County Government Center in the Board Chambers.

On Thursday, March 1, Yosemite National Park will host a public webinar about the Bridalveil Fall Rehabilitation project from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. To view the webinar, visit:


I think this is exactly the wron direction to take and will only lead to more crowding. What if instead of adding more conveniences we made things a little less so. Move the parking area further away, make people hike a bit, keep outhouses rather than flush toilets. That might actually reduce the crowding and make the experience more enjoyable. I do get that my version of enjoyable isn't what everyone else's is but for me crowds really really detract from just about everything and especially natural areas.

But, Wild Places, aren't the national parks for everyone?  What you advocate seems to send a message of deliberately trying to keep people from enjoying their national park, a public land for the enjoyment of everybody.  Think of it:  perhaps this improvement will allow people with disabilities to enjoy this space moreso than they might be able to do currently.  Appreciation of our national lands begins with actual visits to these beautiful and precious places.  If a person physically comes to a national park, instead of just seeing photos in a textbook, then the mindset of that person might actually be changed from one of ambivalence to one of actively voicing their support for the preservation of these national park and national monument environments.  And, let's face it, because we know that crowding is not going to go away anytime soon, and because we know some people tend to do stupid stuff, anything the park implements to "improve safety" in addition to "reducing traffic congestion" is a good thing.

Speaking as someone who earned his handicapped license plates the hard way, I absolutely agree with you, Rebecca.

You have a point wild places, however it is not that the Bridaveil parking area does need updating, and flush toilets are a good thing, in fact the effort to keep up with the need for toilets, let alone keep them clean, ia an issue parkwide. You can park in any pullout park wide, walk around, you find human waste and toilet paper.  None of us like to think that visitor access should be limited, unless absouletly necessary. Unfortunately, Yosemite, during many peak season days, is past that point. The roads, parking areas, facilities in general are past peak capacity, we can either continue to build new roads, parking lots, other infrastructure and it will be odsolete in a few years, just as much of the reconstruction done since the 1997 flood already is. A tough decision, but at some point during peak season, people are going to need a reservation, there is no other alterntive if we are both to provide for visitor enjoyment and still maintain the park unimpaired for future generations. Yosemite has come to terms with overnight concession facilities, campgrounds, overnight wilderness use, but the day use automobile is the problem left unresolved. 

yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more. if you want to immerse yourself in the stillness of nature--or simply hike, backpack or ski in one of the most beautiful places on earth, you'll find your place in Yosemite!.

"aren't the national parks for everyone?"
They most certainly are but that doesn't mean everyone gets everything they want. We all have limitations or will sooner or later. That's life. Should we put a cable car to the top of mount Everest too? Or do we just keep building roads and parking lots until people decide something isn't worth seeing any longer? Certainly not a black & white issue but my opinion is the NPS is ruining the experience the parks once were. I'll also add that for me and I think many others isn't there a greater amount of satisfaction and enjoyment in having to work a little for something?

A couple of very good comments by Ron Mackie and Wild Places.  Issues here are complicated, but if are willing to work together to find them, there are solutions out there.  Some will be difficult and perhaps unpopular, but something must be done.

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